Area26 news & updates
August 2021 | Issue 24
Let me win, but if I cannot win,
Let me be brave in the attempt.
Face Mask 1
Area leadership has received new guidance from SOVA effective August 1st, regarding Return To Activities for the Fall Season. Area leadership will review the information and release guidance soon, but at a minimum - per SOVA - Athletes and Volunteers must be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination if staying overnight at State Games, or at away events. Proof of vaccination must be sent to SOVA and Area 26 (please see resource and links in the section below). 

With the recent up-tick in Delta Variant the guidelines may change as this is a fluid situation . 

More information to come…
EDITOR'S NOTE: The September issue will release mid-month, so as to allow for more of the decsions on play and process to be included.
Return to Activities Resources

  • The updated plan to restart our sports follows the SOVA guidelines for the return-to-play effort (button #1)

  • We continue to encourage our athletes to get vaccinated as soon as they can. *Athletes and Volunteers must be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination if staying overnight at State Games, or at away eventsInformation about getting vaccinated can be found (button #2)

  • Each athlete and Volunteer will have to complete a COVID Waiver Form. The link is now to an updated copy which adds vaccination status - (button #3).[3] 

  • SOVA and the CDC provide information about what it means to be a “high risk” participant, and we encourage you to follow the guidance of both SOVA and the CDC in this regard (button #4).

  • Athletes with an expired Medical Form, will have to submit updates to all forms. The package now contains 8 pages - please complete and submit the full package (button #5).

Also, Please note: Any athlete wanting to register for a new sport must reach out to the sports coordinator before coming to a practice. While we want to include everyone in this reopening process, we do have to control our numbers and we need to know who will be attending practices so we can follow the SOVA protocols we described above.
Athletes, please email completed athlete forms AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards (for overnight participation) to:

In preparation for return-to-play, we are including a link below to the Volunteer Class A Certification Process on the Area 26 website. 

Volunteer Class A, and coach certifications must be updated every 3 years. Many certifications have expired, and many are due to expire. All volunteers are also required to have a COVID19 Waiver on file (button #3 above... ).
Volunteers, please email completed volunteer forms, certifications AND front/back images of Vaccination Cards (for overnight participation) to:
Virtual Activities Update...
Hi Athletes,

Some of our virtual activities may be on break as we get teams back on the fields, pitches and parks. We WILL have some online sessions.

Depending on the virus status, we may ramp up some of our activities as we move back indoors for Fall. As always, Details and schedule can be found on the online resources page on the Website.
YOUniquely Fit has restarted their excellent program again after a short break in June. There is room for new athletes if you are looking for a great way to get in some exercise with some top-notch SO Coaches on days you don't have team practice. You can join at the button, Tuesday, Wednesday and/or Thursday from 6 to 7pm!
It's a breeze...
Some of our sailing crew catching the wind...
Joe Lower
Khang Le
Grant Harris and Michael Villalta
In the Dugout...
Coach Marc Egan and the Cougars softball team nearing the end of their return to play season
Swimmers on dry land...
Coach Hannah Walden's GMU Swim Team is practicing in the park to get ready to go back in the pool for an outdoor swim meet in Richmond on August 14th!!
TOPSoccer welcomes SO athletes
News for our younger Golden Boot aspirants...

Herndon Youth Soccer is proud to sponsor TOPSoccer beginning this fall! 

The Outreach Program for Soccer is a community-based training and team placement program for young athletes with intellectual, emotional, and or physical disabilities, organized by Herndon Youth Soccer and coached by volunteers. TOPSoccer Programs in our state are sponsored by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association and are affiliated with United States Youth Soccer. 

The program is designed to bring the opportunity of learning and playing soccer to any child or young adult with a cognitive or physical disability, and provide the chance for families to connect with the greater community. 
Fall 2021 Season Information

AGES: Open to ages 6-18 years (2003-2016) 
COST: FREE -- There is no cost to participate in the TOPSoccer program
REGISTRATION- All participants need to register online at the button below
DATESSessions held on SATURDAYS
9/11, 9/18, 9/25, 10/2 (No session 10/9 for holiday), 10/16, 10/23, and 10/30
FORMAT: Each session will run from 4:30-5:30 pm.
UNIFORMS: Each athlete will receive a Herndon Youth Soccer Jersey. Players will wear comfortable athletic gear with the Herndon Youth Soccer Jersey.
COACHING: Volunteers wishing to coach or assist with TOPSoccer must register to coach online. Herndon Youth Soccer Coaches and Volunteers will lead the program. A staff meeting will be held in mid-August.

CONTACT: Greg Andrulis, Executive Director, - with any program questions. - with any registration questions or issues.
Fit-5 Fitness Pals Monthly Update...
The Fit5-Five...Chris, Tom, Dave, Max and Kyler are getting ready to play again!
Chris in the right place...
David with some fancy footwork
Kyler with "the catch"...
Max going looooong...
Tom - "Come to me baby!"
Athletes Corner
  • by Max Hershberger
Hello Area 26!!!!!

Hope you're doing well and staying active by working out daily!!

As a Fit 5 member, I am trying to keep my workouts exciting, so, I work out with the GMU swim team on Saturdays at Ratcliffe Park near Mason, and have started Avengers practice for Football also. On Wednesdays I do YOUniquely fit on zoom calls. (OK, I also have been running 4 or 5 a week to get ready for the fall season - I like to run...)

Make sure you’ve been hydrating yourself during each day and workout. I have some tips for you. Drink about half a gallon or more each day. Why do we hydrate? Because it helps you last during workouts, practices and games. If you don’t hydrate yourself it may cause you to get some cramps. We don’t want that. I encourage you to drink plenty of water. .  

I recently did some home cooking. I made Chicken breast with rice and add some fruit to it! I encourage you to do some home cooked meals and eat good healthy food. That way you can stay in shape and be healthier. 

Fun activities I did recently...Went to the Nats game vs the Padres on July 17th. Fairfax Block Party... If your interested going to the Next Fairfax block party it will be August 27th. They have good music, food trucks and other fun activities. Put that on your calendar 🙂

Just letting you all know fall season is back on target. Who’s Ready for fall games? You know I am. Please get your shot if you can that way we can make the season safe, and you can play in all your sports.

Talk to you next month and stay safe
Max Hershberger
Plane Pull 2021 is open for registration...
-by Patrick DeLapp, Area Team Captain

Hello Everyone!

It is that time of the year for the DULLES PLANE PULL! It is on September 18th at 12:15 PM EDT at Dulles Airport.

We have 22 more spots to fill for the pulling team, and they will go fast! How you register for the plane pull is below:
  1. Go to this link
  2. Created a fundraising page with the team
  3. You are good to go
We have already reached the goal to be able to participate AND get a personalized tee shirt, so you do not need to raise any money….but any fundraising would be great! Every dollar counts towards new equipment, hotels, trips, etc.
I can’t wait to see everyone there!

IMPORTANT: Please always remember when registering or donating to indicate your affiliation with Area 26 so that we get 1/2 of the proceeds to fund the local program!!
Golf Program Update
  • By Robin Utz
As Ben Hogan, an American professional golfer, says "The most important shot in golf is the next one."
Golf is not just a sport; it is an experience. And the Area 26 Golf Program is no exception to the promise golf offers for our athletes. Golf is a fantastic opportunity to have fun, get exercise, build relationships, and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Area 26 Golf is an individual sport that is competed at Fall State Games, but we try to practice and improve our skills throughout the year.
Eager to Return-to-Play during the hottest and most humid weather of June and July 2021, our dedicated golf athletes and partners managed to play 9-holes on Tuesday evenings at Jefferson District, practice our skills on Saturday afternoons at Burke Lake Golf Center, and even enjoy a quick round at Pinecrest Golf Course on a Sunday afternoon. 
The golf coordinator boasts about the amazing Class A volunteers and coaches who support the golf program at all levels, along with the strong parental involvement. It was without hesitation, that athletes and partners followed Phase I and II protocols during this summer's events. 
What can we expect next from the Fall 2021 golf program?
  • League and tournament play;
  • Practice times at area golf courses;
  • A Skills competition;
  • A Development Program for our younger athletes, ages 6-12 years; and
The Annual Area 26 Golf Fundraiser on October 18th at Springfield Country Club.
Photos are compliments of volunteer: Jenny Lambert, Blair Miller, Sandy Schwartz, or Robin Utz.
Group photo Summer League 2021
Billy DuQuette
Brian Lawler and Partner Zach Lawler
Tammy Kiser
Jinho Chang

Grant Harris
Amy Lai
Jonathon Wolf
Ricky Portillo
Nic Zepf and his Dad
Alexandre Pham and his Mom
Joey Roney and Partner Chuck Roney
Joe McCraken
Hudson Dougherty
Athletes Edwin Miller and Tammy Kiser getting instruction on putting
Charles Nguyen
Ameer Malik
Melissa Gurman
Paul Park
Golf at Pinecrest Golf Course – Athletes include Charles Nguyen, Edwin Miller, Joey Roney, Jonathon Wolf, and Grant Harris. Not pictured is Jinho Chang
Stay Healthy, Stay Active!!
We love to have your pictures - so keep busy and...
  • Shared by Veronica Jennings, SOVA Staff
The Disability Information and Access Line (DIAL) is available to people with disabilities looking for assistance in scheduling their COVID-19 vaccination and finding accessible transportation to the appointment. Call 888-677-1199 or email
If you have trouble leaving your home and are on Medicare, you may qualify to get the COVID-19 vaccine at home. The Vaccine Equity Clinic on Route 1 in Alexandria also offers free transportation to those who want to get vaccinated at the clinic. Call 703-324-7404. 
The CDC has several videos available in American Sign Language on COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccinations. See the playlistOther COVID-19 resources are available from the Virginia Department of Health
All individuals in the Fairfax Health District who are 12 or older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are FREEof charge to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. No health insurance is needed. 
The vaccine is available at locations throughout the Fairfax Health District, including private healthcare providers, pharmacies, grocery stores, urgent cares, and the Health Department. To schedule a vaccination appointment, go to or (Spanish) for the widest selection of vaccination locations or visit the Health Department’s website. If you need assistance in another language or are not able to schedule an appointment online at a Fairfax County Health Department clinic, contact our Vaccine Call Center at 703-324-7404. 
The COVID-19 Language Portal has select information about COVID-19 translated into top languages spoken in Fairfax County.
Learn more about COVID-19 on the Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage. Call the Health Department at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions or call 703-324-7404 for questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
**If you are not currently a subscriber to the Access Fairfax email newsletter and would like to receive information emails every other week about disabilities, rights and resources, please sign up at the button below today!**
Area 26 is still in need of a new volunteers for the position of Adult Bowling Coordinator.

The Adult Bowling Coordinator manages our very popular bowling program, arranging the facilities and tournaments for the league. We want to keep this going as soon as the COVID circumstances allow!

If interested in the position, please contact Area Council Chair Elaine Tilton at chairman@novasova.orgg
Revealing the Champion in all of us...
Please continue to share information about this newsletter and website with those you know in the community so that we can better share the wonder of our special athletes and volunteers. To sign up to receive the newsletter, go to our webform Newsletter Subscription
Area 26 Points of Contact
Area 26 Council

Elaine Tilton

Chuck Adkins-Blanch
Patrick DeLapp
Billy Duquette
Jeffrey Eskridge
Christine Fowler
Max Hershberger
Jay Hoffmeier
Veronica Jennings
Nancy Julia
Abby Lacy
Katherine Martin
Jeff McGiboney
Tejas Patel
Nancy Robbins
Bernie Woolfley
Area 26 Special Olympics |
Season Directors
Elaine Tilton, Fall/Winter

Nancy Julia, Spring/Summer

Barry Tilton

Volunteer Coordinator
Tejas Patel

Athlete Representative
Max Hershberger

Medical Coordinator
Christine Fowler

Senior Director, Potomac Region
Veronica Jennings
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